NORRIDGEWOCK — Voters on Monday at Town Meeting will be asked to decide whether the town should buy a new firetruck, as well as to vote on the $2.1 million municipal budget.

Town Manager Richard LaBelle said the municipal budget overall was relatively flat, with only a $4,500 increase over last year. He said the largest purchase request is for a $350,000 firetruck. He said the existing firetruck, built in 1989, has rust and lacks modern safety equipment. However, it still passes a pump test and does not have high mileage.

The town’s fire chief, Dave Jones, is requesting that $100,000 be appropriated from the department’s existing capital account and $250,000 be appropriated from the town’s surplus to pay for a new truck, which was recommended by LaBelle and the Board of Selectmen. The town’s Budget Committee, however, recommended offering only $75,000 for a future purchase and wanted to see if grant funding becomes available, LaBelle said.

The last time the town bought a firetruck, grant funding aided the purchase.

Should the selectmen’s proposal be approved, the new truck would be commercial but not custom. The Budget Committee was concerned with the turnaround time for delivery of the truck, which could take up to 18 months.

Town Meeting voting on the firetruck and other warrant items is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Mill Stream Elementary School on 26 Mercer Road directly following elections, for which polls are open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Six people are running for five seats on the Board of Selectmen. Of the six, five are incumbents: Chairman Ronald Frederick, Vice Chairman James Lyman, Joshua Chartrand, Charlotte Curtis and Matthew Everett. Sara Wilder, a former board member, is running again. LaBelle said this is a mirror image of last year’s elections.

The only other contested race is for the Board of Tax Assessors. There are three one-year seats available, and four people are running. Curtis, Frederick and Wilder are the incumbents, and Lyman also is running. All other races are either uncontested or don’t have declared candidates. No referendums are on the ballot this year.

Other big-ticket items on this year’s warrant include recommendations to appropriate more than $296,000 for the administration department, more than $100,000 for public safety, more than $570,000 for the Public Works Department, more than $73,000 for the capital reserve account, more than $83,000 for debt service on the sewer bond, $60,000 for road overlay projects, and nearly $923,000 of local revenue to reduce the tax commitment.

LaBelle anticipated that the firetruck purchase would be the biggest discussion point at the meeting, and that it would happen early at the meeting.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

 

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